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Indiana University Northwest

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Northwest Indiana GIS Forum
Meeting Notes
Thursday, May 19, 2011 - 9:00 - 11:00 am
Meeting Location: Northwestern Indiana Regional Planning Commission

Members in Attendance:  Jason Dravet, Town of St. John; Matt Hay, Northwestern Indiana Regional Planning Commission; Kim Holmquist, School City of Hammond; Jim McShane, South Shore Grants Center; Cele Morris, IUN/NWI Center for Data & Analysis;  Debbie Scurlock, City of Hobart; Joyce West, Sidwell Co.; Greg White, Lake County Surveyor's Office; Michael Zabrecky

Local Implementation

The Data Center at Indiana University Northwest recently completed a 4 year project with GEMINUS Corp. GIS data was created as part of their annual epidemiology report for East Chicago.  Locations of drug related police calls and locations of East Chicago Intervention Council billboards have been geocoded for the report.  Demographic data from Census 2010 as well as other health/crime information will also be provided for the report.  The Data Center is also a beta tester for the Community Analyst online application.  

South Shore Grants Center is a beta tester for the online version of Community Analyst, a new ESRI product.  The application has been helpful while assisting the town of Hebron with grant writing.

The Northwestern Indiana Regional Planning Commission is mapping transportation improvement projects in the region.  Transportation mapping also includes safety maps indicating locations of auto and truck accidents.  They hope to create an online interactive map to contain their projects and are searching for matching funds.  Possible project interfaces include Google Maps and ArcServer.  Work with the Northwest Indiana Forum produced a map of local broadband capabilities.   

School City of Hammond has put GIS projects on hold at this time.

Sidwell Co. works with Lake and Porter counties on a number of projects including hosting interactive websites.  Porter County will roll out a new public version of their website in the near future.  They are proposing to provide assistance to entities implementing the ESRI ArcGIS 10 compatible Land Records Data Model. ESRI is presently holding Land Records Seminars in the region.

The City of Hobart is in the process of GIS implementation through the Sanitary District.  GPS equipment has been purchased. They are creating a sidewalk inventory.  Lake County is reaching out to Hobart to provide assistance through Sidwell.  They have a data sharing agreement with the county and have contracted with HTNB to create accurate data for their program.

The Town of St. John is planning to purchase a Trimble GPS unit for their MS4 project providing sub-foot accuracy. They will be using the Convergence asset management system.  They are collecting information to comply with the federal mandate requiring all municipalities to record information about location and condition of town signage.  Robinson Engineering will convert St. John AutoCAD sewer data to GIS. 

The Lake County Surveyor's Office has upgraded their GIS server to a Silverlight service (http://www.lakecountysurveyor.org/gis.html, hosted by Sidwell Co.) providing a more user friendly interface.  Work is underway by their contractor to conflate the county's two centerline datasets to produce the most accurate version.  Centerline data will then be publicly released.  Two separate address ranges will be applied to the data.  "Real" and "hypothetical" ranges will improve geocoding accuracy.  Completion of the project is expected by year end.  The Surveyor’s Office is working with the Recorder to find funding to implement GIS in that Department.  The Board of Elections is in the process of bringing GIS into the redistricting process.  There is a push to deploy county GIS data through creation of custom applications for those less than "power" GIS users such as the Emergency Management Department.  The upgrade to ArcGIS 10 will be implemented in the near future.  The Highway Department is collecting data on county signage and bridges.  GIS was used for analysis related to the possible creation of a conservancy district to provide funding for the Little Calumet levee system.


A three day, ArcGIS 10 training session for Emergency Managers will be offered at Valparaiso University through FEMA in June.  As of this date registration has been closed.  Analysis tools and training offered by NOAA can be accessed at:   http://www.csc.noaa.gov/digitalcoast/tools/index.html

Other options for GIS training include the POLIS Center and ESRI.

IGIC  provides educational opportunities throughout the year.  Check their website regularly to see what is currently being offered.


Meeting notes will continue to be posted to the  NWI GIS Forum website as soon as possible after meetings (click on Minutes).  Please contact with any comments or input on the website.

The IUN GIS lab will be upgraded to ArcGIS 10 prior to the beginning of the Fall Semester.  The lab build will also include several metadata applications including EPA Metadata Editor for ArcGIS 10.

Next Meeting:   Friday, July 22, 2011, 9:00 am - 11:30 am, at Northwestern Indiana Regional Planning Commission, Portage, IN (directions:  http://www.nirpc.org/home/contact.htm).  Special presentation by Jeff Padgett of Woolpert, vendor for the Indiana Statewide Ortho and LiDAR program.